Patrick Jane opened the case file that he'd accidentally-on-purpose liberated from Lisbon's desk when she wasn't looking and flicked through the pages. He and Shawn had been told to stay away from this case once already, after the victim, Marilyn Anders, had taken a disliking to them. She seemed to have a problem with the fact he could read her like an open book and that he'd told her a few home truths. As if that wasn't enough, Shawn had then found something and launched into one of his 'psychic' episodes. Ms Anders thought he was a nut and told Lisbon that she wanted the pair of them as far away as possible from her or she'd have to speak to her good friend, the Governor, regarding Lisbon and her team.
In the interests of protecting their own asses, Lisbon and the Director had ordered both of them to stay out of sight until they'd closed the case.
"This sucks. I mean, we could help but no, we have to sit around here like good little lap-dogs," Shawn Spencer grumbled as he dropped down onto the leather couch in the CBI offices next to Patrick. He leaned over Patrick's shoulder and smiled. "Oooh, someone's been naughty," he scolded. "You're not supposed to have that file."
Patrick rolled his eyes at Shawn. "You're just jealous because I stole it before you could."
"Maybe." Shawn held out his hand. "Come on; share. I was thinking that if we could maybe give them something useful," he continued, "then they'd let us back on the case, right?"
Patrick nodded. "My thoughts exactly." His determination had little to do with concern for the case; it was more that he hated being left out.
For the next few hours they read through the case files, looking for anything that might help them. Marilyn Anders was society royalty, heiress to a software company fortune and also close personal friend of the Governor, and had been robbed of a small fortune in gold jewellery, precious stones and extremely valuable artwork from her mansion. She had only noticed the items missing this morning and had immediately called in a few favours to get the CBI on the case. Usually, they wouldn't handle a robbery but this was as much to do with politics as it was justice. The house had no signs of forced entry, no security systems had been tripped. Patrick suspected the woman's boyfriend, Carlos Sanchez, as did Shawn, which was exactly what had put them both on the woman's shit-list. She was absolutely determined that he had nothing to do with it- he was presently out of state and had been away when the items had been stolen- and resented the fact that they even dared to suggest it.
"OK, now I'm bored."
Patrick set the page he was reading down on the pile on the table and glanced across at Shawn. If he was being honest, Patrick was amazed that Shawn had managed to sit still for as long as he had. His boyfriend had the attention span of a five year old; so far he'd already had snacks, drinks, numerous bathroom breaks, and now he was bored.
"What exactly do you want me to do about it?"
Shawn smirked. "How long do you think the others will be out?" he asked, edging closer.
"Not long enough," Patrick told him firmly. "I have no intention of getting caught with my pants down, so to speak."
Shawn pouted. "Aww, stop being a spoilsport." He leaned in closer until he was practically sitting in Patrick's lap. "Come on, Patrick. Just a little kissy?"
For what must be the hundredth time since he and Shawn had started dating, Patrick wondered just how he managed to get himself talked into these things. He didn't object as Shawn's fingers on the nape of his neck pulled him close enough to press their lips together, giving in and kissing Shawn properly.
"You know, this is a big, comfortable couch…"
Patrick cut the rest of Shawn's sentence off with another kiss. The exhibitionist in him was intrigued by the idea but practicality won out in the internal debate. They'd get caught, he knew they would. Then, they'd never hear the end of it.
Fifteen minutes later, Lisbon and Cho returned, the others still out in the field. Lisbon looked over at Shawn curiously, then offered the same perusal to Patrick.
"You two OK?" she asked. "You look flustered."
Patrick tried to avoid looking at Shawn but eventually, his eyes met Shawn's and they both burst out laughing. Lisbon glared at them, hands on her hips, tapping her boot on the ground.
"What?" she demanded.
Shawn grinned at her. "You really don't want to know."
She glared for a moment longer and then he could see the metaphorical light bulb flash on over her head.
"Oh, I am never sitting on that couch again!"
Shawn and Patrick both looked at each other, the laughter starting again. They really should have told her that there had been nothing more than a kiss, but the look on her face was just too much fun.
By the time that the others returned, Patrick and Shawn had calmed down and were sitting quietly on the couch once more. The borrowed files had been hidden under the couch cushions; Shawn had figured that was one place that Lisbon would never check.
An hour later, once everyone had reported in, they all went home for the night. It had been a long day so far- for everyone apart from Shawn and Patrick, who had spent the afternoon sitting on a couch.
"I still say that Sanchez did it," Patrick said as he unlocked the door to his house and waited for Shawn to go inside. "Him and the maid."
"Yeah, I mean, they were sleeping together," Shawn added.
Patrick had noticed that as well but neither of them had mentioned it to Lisbon, or the victim, yet. Ms Anders had already mentioned firing the maid in question a week earlier over a different matter but Patrick wondered if she had suspected something.
As soon as they got through the door, a tiny tabby kitten came hurtling toward them and stumbled into Shawn's legs. He smiled and stooped to pick the creature up.
"Hey, Minky, did you miss us?"
Patrick rolled his eyes; what on earth had made Shawn call the poor little thing Minky? He'd asked once, but Shawn had just said that was what the kitten had wanted to be called and who was he to argue? He hadn't bothered asking again.
"We saw that, didn't we sweetie?" Shawn said, looking at the kitten but talking to Patrick. The kitten just stared at him with huge grey eyes and meowed. He handed her to Patrick, watching as his boyfriend cuddled the tiny kitten to him, talking to her softly.
Patrick had bought him the kitten for his birthday a few months ago- admittedly, after a number of none too subtle hints. Shawn had been presented with the huge box, a red bow tied around it, and strict instructions that he wasn't to shake it or tip it over. When he opened it, he found Minky sitting on a nest of blankets, looking up at him. It was probably the best present he'd ever had.
As the kitten began to fidget, Patrick set her down on the carpet and she wandered off. Shawn followed Patrick to the couch to sit down, spying Minky following them before she hopped up onto the chair opposite the couch.
"You know, I'm sure we have better things to think about than this case," he said, his arm around Shawn as he drew him closer.
"In front of Minky?" Shawn asked, sounding shocked. "That's just wrong."
"So maybe we'd better move somewhere else, and leave Minky out here."
Shawn could definitely agree with that suggestion.
The following morning, just after dawn, Patrick followed Shawn toward the warehouse on the edge of town. They had found an old address in one of the files, one that used to be leased in the boyfriend's name. When they had finally managed to get their hands on a background check for Sanchez, it had revealed that he had a record. He had been questioned in a fraud case but no charges had even been brought against him. His accomplice at the time had taken the rap for it, and the three months of jail time, when she refused to implicate him.
Knowing that Lisbon would be furious with them for meddling when they'd been told to stay out of it, the two of them had decided to check the place out first. That way, Lisbon couldn't ignore them if they actually had some kind of proof.
The warehouse had been divided at some point, half of it now used as storage for a haulage company. The other half had more or less been abandoned. It looked as though no one had been here in years but when Shawn looked closer it was clear that the disrepair was just a façade. When he pointed, Patrick nodded; he'd seen the faint trace where one of the boards had been moved away from the door to let someone through as well.
"Let's call Lisbon," Patrick suggested.
Shawn shook his head. "What if it's not him? I say we just take a peek and see if Sanchez has been here and then we call the troops."
He was right, Patrick thought. If they called this in and they were wrong- which, let's face it, wasn't too likely- Lisbon would be mad that they'd been meddling. If they had seen their suspect in the building, however, and preferably doing something incriminating…
Inside the building, Shawn crept forward in the darkness, knowing that Patrick was following. They had seen a light on as soon as they'd come inside and were heading toward it. It was coming from a second floor office that had once been part of the administrations side of the warehouse. When they got closer they saw two men sitting at a wooden table.
"That's Sanchez," Shawn whispered excitedly. They crept a little closer, to listen, and saw the covered frame by the wall. All they could see was the bottom corner but the frame looked exactly like one of the pieces that had been stolen from Ms Anders' home.
"That's it- go call Lisbon," Patrick murmured. "I'll stay and keep an eye on these two."
Shawn nodded and hurried away, digging his cell-phone out of his pocket as he went. He would have to go outside to call so as not to alert anyone that he and Patrick were here. He made the call as quick as possible, not wanting to leave Patrick on his own for too long, and crept back inside. He was almost back to their hiding place when he heard a noise.
He turned just in time to see a piece of lead pipe swinging toward his face and then the world went black.
Up by the offices, Patrick was pulled roughly from his hiding place and found himself with a gun pressed to his back as he was pushed into the office. Both men jumped to their feet.
"Who the hell is he?"
The man who had found Patrick shoved him roughly into the corner as the man Sanchez had been talking to decided that he wasn't going to stick around if they'd been seen. He left, leaving just Sanchez and Patrick's captor.
"Found him outside, spying on you."
Sanchez frowned. "He alone?"
"There was another guy downstairs but I took care of him." He smirked. "He won't be a problem."
Patrick was on his feet before he knew it, fighting his way toward the door. The tone that the man had used when he said it, 'took care of him', didn't sound good at all. He really wanted to panic right about now but he forced himself to remain calm.
"What did you do to Shawn?" he demanded.
No one answered.
"Where is he?"
Sanchez scowled at him. "Shut up." He turned back to his companion, ignoring Patrick, assuming that he would just sit there like a good little scared hostage. They hadn't counted on his determination to find Shawn.
Patrick dived for the man with the gun, since Sanchez didn't appear to have one on him, and knocked him down. It was only through sheer luck that the gun slipped from his fingers and that Patrick managed to reach it before either of the other two. He scrambled to his feet and aimed it at the man who'd hurt Shawn.
"Tie him up," he said, indicating to Sanchez.
The man moved slowly to Sanchez and used some of the tape they'd been using to package up the paintings to fasten him at wrists and ankles. When he was done, Patrick grabbed the man by arm and pulled him to his feet, jamming the gun into the small of his back. Patrick could feel his hand shaking and stopped it quickly; if this guy realised that just the thought of having to use the gun in his hand was making him want to throw up, he'd lose his only bargaining chip.
"Now you're going to take me to him," he said, rather proud of how steady his voice was as he spoke, "Or I'm going to pull this trigger. OK?"
As they were making their way through the dark warehouse, Patrick heard the sound of sirens. The cavalry had arrived, he thought. There was the sound of the door being kicked in and then torches and people yelling 'Freeze! CBI!' but he ignored them. A shutter at the front of the building rolled up noisily, flooding the area with sunlight.
"Jane? Jane, what the hell's going on?" Rigsby's voice asked as the agent spotted him. Patrick saw the stunned look on his face when he saw the gun in Patrick's hand.
"Not now, Rigsby." He jabbed his prisoner again. "Take me to him."
He knew that Rigsby was following and he was glad for that when they rounded a pile of empty wooden crates and he saw Shawn slumped on the floor. Tossing the gun aside and abandoning his prisoner, Patrick went to Shawn.
"Shawn? Shawn! Can you hear me?" Patrick knelt down next to him.
Shawn didn't respond, his eyes closed and a large gash above his right temple. His face and clothes were sticky with blood; he'd lost a lot of it.
"Rigsby, he needs paramedics."
Nearby, Rigsby handed off the now-handcuffed man and the gun to a uniformed officer and was calling it in.
"They'll be here in a few minutes," he said, crouching down beside Patrick.
Patrick nodded, not taking his eyes of Shawn. "I can't lose someone else I care about, Rigsby. I can't."
Patrick paced across the hospital waiting room for the umpteenth time, pausing only when Lisbon took his hand as he passed her by and pulled him down into a chair.
"Why won't they tell me anything?" he said miserably. "It's been three hours! Something must be wrong."
She looked across to where Van Pelt sat, shrugging helplessly. This was not one of her strengths, comforting distressed colleagues. The other woman gave her a look of disbelief and came to sit at Patrick's other side, trying to reassure him. A few minutes later, the doctor came into the waiting room.
Patrick jumped to his feet. "Yeah, that's me. How's Shawn? What's going on?"
The doctor smiled calmly, holding up a hand to quiet Patrick's questions.
"Mr Spencer has suffered a severe blow to his right temple," he said. "Whilst externally, the wound is quite mild, it's the internal damage that we are concerned with. Our scans have shown that Mr Spencer has a slight swelling to his brain."
Patrick didn't bother to wait for the rest of the explanation, he just pushed past the doctor and headed for the room where he'd seen them take Shawn earlier. He heard the two women and the doctor following him as he went into the sterile room.
"Shawn? You have no idea how much you scared me back there," he said, going to the pale, bandaged figure in the bed and took his hand. "I'm just glad you're alright-"
Shawn eased his hand away from Patrick and watched him with wary eyes.
"Who are you?"
Patrick just stared at him, waiting for the 'Gotcha!', but it never came. Shawn was looking at him as though he'd never seen him before. Patrick felt Grace's hand on his arm and she led him out into the corridor where the doctor waited with Lisbon. Rigsby and Cho had only just arrived after taking care of their prisoners first and they stood with her.
"Jane, what's wrong?" Rigsby asked, seeing the look on Patrick's face.
Patrick turned to the doctor as Van Pelt took the other agents aside to explain what had happened in the room.
"He didn't know me," Patrick said, sitting down in one of the plastic chairs near to Shawn's room.
"As I tried to tell you before you went in," the doctor said, "Mr Spencer was confused when he regained consciousness. He has no recollection of what happened and, at this time, we are unsure as to how far back the memory loss goes."
"So is it permanent?" Rigsby asked, coming back to join them and looking almost as worried as Patrick felt.
"We can't be sure," the doctor said. "Some people simply snap out of this in days or weeks where some never regain those lost memories. It helps if you can remind him, try to jog the memories."
Three days later, Shawn was allowed out of the hospital. The others had been trying to remain positive, telling him stories about the cases he'd worked and the nights out they'd been on. Patrick had kept a distance between them, not wanting to push Shawn when he didn't remember, but it was difficult. He'd called Shawn's dad, Henry, to tell him what had happened as well and they were all hoping that something would come back to Shawn. When he'd got home, he'd wandered around the house, looking at the photographs with curiosity.
"Shawn? I brought someone to see you," Patrick said, coming into the room. "Minky's been missing you, too."
He handed the kitten to Shawn, who took her and looked at her with the same lack of recognition as he had Patrick.
Patrick smiled. "She's yours; you named her."
He watched as Shawn sat down with the kitten on his lap, playing with her, with the first genuine smile that Patrick had seen since he left the hospital.
They had dinner and Patrick showed Shawn around the rest of the house, watching as the man grew more uncomfortable. A short time later, Shawn excused himself and Patrick found him on his cell-phone in the kitchen. He was about to go in but paused when he heard Shawn speak.
"I'm not allowed to drive because of the medication," Shawn said, leaning back against the counter, the phone to his ear.
His dad sighed. "I'm not coming to get you, Shawn."
"Dad, I feel weird staying here," Shawn said. "I don't know him."
"Trust me, kid, you know him," Henry informed him. "Look, Patrick's a good guy; give him a chance, huh?"
"Shawn, you are not moving in with me."
Outside the kitchen, having heard Shawn's side of the conversation, Patrick felt his heart sink. Before he could leave, Shawn came out of the kitchen and stopped dead when he saw Patrick standing there.
Patrick stopped him. "You can stay here," he said. "I'll call Rigsby and see if I can crash on his couch for a while."
As Patrick turned away to collect some of his things and call Rigsby, Shawn felt awful about it. He had seen the hurt in Patrick's eyes when he'd come out of the kitchen, after he'd heard the conversation with his dad, and he didn't like it. He might not remember the man but seeing that look in his eyes had been horrible. Besides, he had known him, in the past, even his dad had told him that. It was strange, but he could remember things from his teenage years and even later with perfect clarity, it was just the past few years that had vanished. What he could remember was that of all past relationships or dates, Patrick was the only one his dad had ever voiced his approval over.
Patrick frowned at him. "What?"
"You don't have to go. I'm sorry about the phone call," Shawn told him.
Patrick still slept on the couch, but at least it was in his own home. He didn't really know what to say to Shawn, wanting to act as they were before but that didn't seem right. Instead, he just kept up a stream of idle chatter as he made breakfast the next morning, grateful when the doorbell rang just as they were finishing.
"I thought I'd check in on Shawn," Van Pelt told him. "If you want to go to the office for a few hours or something, you know, take a break, I'll stay here with him."
Shawn looked up as she came into the room, instinctively glancing around for Patrick as well.
"I sent him out for a while," she told him. "I'm Grace, remember?" Shawn nodded. "So, any progress? Anything coming back?"
She suddenly reached into the paper take-out bag she was carrying and pulled out a large plastic cup with a curved lid and a straw in a paper wrapper.
"I brought you something," she said, handing it to him. "Pineapple smoothie from that little place across from the office that you like so much."
Shawn tasted it and knew she was right. He might not know it, but he did like it.
For the next hour, they talked, and Grace was introduced to Minky, who she had apparently never met before.
"So, how are you getting along with Patrick?" Grace asked. "It must be weird to be living with someone that you can't remember."
He wasn't sure what it was about Grace, but Shawn found himself talking to her, telling her about the call to his dad last night and his confusion over Patrick. He knew that he and Patrick had been happy, but it all still felt so alien to him.
"He's not taking it too well," she said. "That's one reason I sent him out for a while this morning. You should have seen him at the hospital, Shawn, he was so worried."
"I don't know what to do- he just looks so sad and while I hate seeing him like that, he's still a stranger."
Grace smiled, reaching down to idly pet Minky as she meowed for attention again. Sitting up straight with the kitten on her lap, she turned back to Shawn.
"Think of it from his point of view," she said. "He still remembers the two of you, but the person he loves doesn't know him. I'm not sure whether it would be worse to remember and not be able to have or to not remember at all."
By the time that Patrick came back, Shawn and Grace were watching a movie. That was one of the more fun aspects, Shawn had thought; every movie was new to him. Grace left at the end, leaving the two of them alone again.
"Patrick, can I ask you a question?"
"Course you can, love," Patrick replied, then sighed. "Sorry."
Shawn assured him that he didn't mind. "How did we meet?"
Patrick told him all about the case that had caused their paths to cross in Santa Barbara, telling him about how Shawn had later moved here and taken a consultant's position with the CBI. As Shawn listened, something that Grace had said suddenly came back to him.
"Grace said that I was psychic but I'm not, am I?"
This had been the question Patrick had been dreading; how to explain that to Shawn?
"No, you aren't," Patrick told him, "but they think you are."
Shawn frowned. "Why would they think that?"
"Because you told them that you are." Seeing the confusion on Shawn's face, Patrick explained about Shawn's photographic memory and his habit of ringing in tips to the Santa Barbara police hotlines had got him into trouble. "You said that they were going to arrest you, thinking that you were involved because you knew too much that hadn't been released to the press yet. You told them that you were psychic and that was how you'd got the information."
"And now everyone here thinks I'm psychic too?"
Five days later, Shawn sat on Patrick's couch in the CBI offices, listening to the others discussing poker night. He had already been informed that it was a Friday night ritual, and that he had a standing invitation, but he was only half paying attention. The rest of his attention was focussed on Patrick, as the man made them both some tea in the little cafeteria area at the other side of the room. Bored of sitting, he wandered across to help.
"I was thinking that maybe we could go to the Indian restaurant that you like tonight," Patrick said when he noticed Shawn standing next to him. "Familiar surroundings and all that, and goodness' knows we've spent enough time there."
Shawn nodded. He glanced back at the others but they were all still talking, and then nudged the door shut.
Shawn pulled Patrick closer and kissed him. At first, Patrick was too shocked to respond; he had been avoiding anything that might make Shawn uncomfortable, such as this. The moment he was over his shock, however, he kissed Shawn back.
"That felt familiar," Shawn said after he stepped back. "I thought this morning, when I saw you at breakfast, that I'd always liked that suit. How would I know that unless something was starting to come back? Nothing else has, though," he said, sounding frustrated.
"And the kiss?"
"I don't know, I just thought that maybe I'd remember." At Patrick's questioning look he shrugged his shoulders. "Like I said, it felt familiar. Maybe more, I'm not sure."
Over the next few days, Shawn knew that something, even just a bit, was coming back to him. There had been a number of times where he'd felt déjà vu when doing something or he'd thought he'd known someone, the name being just on the tip of his tongue but also just out of reach. One thing that did have him just a tad concerned was that he found himself talking to Minky at the breakfast table one morning. Patrick was in the shower so it was just him and the kitten.
"You think I'm losing it, don't you?" he asked her. "Well, I'm not, just so you know." She began to purr as he scratched behind her ears. "You're so adorable, aren't you? Yes, you are."
An image of Minky, smaller than she was now, curled up on a blue blanket, in a box with a big bow around it, came to mind. It was so vivid that he knew it was something. He rushed to the bathroom and dragged the shower screen aside, revealing a startled-looking Patrick.
"Tell me about Minky, about when you gave her to me," he said, the words rushed in his excitement. "Was there a blue blanket in the box?"
Patrick nodded and filled in the rest, almost identical to what Shawn had thought. Shawn tried to grab onto that train of thought again, seeing the delighted look on Patrick's face as he carried on talking, about the rest of his birthday. It was as though that one memory had opened the floodgates for the rest to come spilling back into his mind.
"I remember!" he said, then looked over Patrick, still naked and wet even though he'd switched the shower off and draped a towel around his waist. "I remember you, too. Oh, how could I have forgotten you?"
Patrick had never felt so relieved in his life. He had Shawn back at last, in his arms, and apparently determined to make up for lost time.
"I think you should call Lisbon and tell her that we'll be late for work," Shawn told him, relieving Patrick of his towel and backing him to the wall as he kissed him.
OK, so I have no medical training what so ever (unless you can count years of watching E.R.) so please forgive any inaccuracies regarding head trauma or amnesia. I had to use a pinch of artistic license.